If you loved Great British Bake Off, watch this Netflix show now

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The layered cake is a hidden surprise, but the real treasure is the hinged chest made entirely of chocolate, lock and all.

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one of my favorite things about Great British Bake Off (and I’ve juggled every season) is the camaraderie that blunts some of the more toxic elements of the competition show, while still letting the contestants’ astonishing baking achievements shine through. a new netflix tv series, school of chocolatestakes GBBO a step further, in a sense, by turning the competition on its head.

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It only eliminates elimination. Unlike cut throat competition, all the people Get to live in a tent. No one is told to pack their whispers and leave. The result is somehow richer, more impressive, and more compelling than watching the contestants one by one—which, if you think about it, is a lot more boring than actually looking at the devastatingly beautiful chocolate art (though the expense). people doing literally billions of hours watching squid games may disagree).

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Hosted by Swiss Born Chef amaury guichon, Whose TikTok Videos of Amazingly Intricate and Realistic Chocolate Creations Grab millions of views, School of Chocolate is a masterclass in technique that eight professional pastry chefs – and all of us – get to see for the first time. Chocolate sculpture with interactive hinges. A chocolate octopus that looks impossibly real (pictured below). Edible surprises are layered within clever cakes that are instantly mouthwatering and gorgeous to eat.

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Made of pure chocolate, this idol is very tasty.

Like the actual school, the School of Chocolate cohort remains intact throughout the competition, tearing up, getting catty, jockeying for status—and a $50,000 cash prize—and stunning, huge, gravity-defying show art. Making piece after piece of pure chocolate and pastry is what sometimes amazes me.

Its main point is for contestants to learn advanced techniques and hone in on challenges that push their skills to the brink and reveal the breakout chocolatier we can’t help but elevate to star status.

Netflix may call the show “feel-good,” but that doesn’t mean it’s all fondant and buttercream in school.

The tone is good-natured, sometimes foamy and saccharin louder than in the Great British Bake Off. There is deep tension from the start of the eight-episode season, and the stakes feel surprisingly real. The poor performers are forced to sit out the round, and only the top two compete for the final challenge. In between pats on the back, gamesmanship sometimes rears its head.

But while the cream quickly rises to the top, putting the class together gives viewers who care more about jaw-dropping creations and less about stabbing in the back. One wonderful gift: more.

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The 100% Chocolate Showpiece from Netflix’s School of Chocolate.

Instead of turning out skilled professionals who had a bad day or didn’t quite master an architectural challenge mere cake-baking mortals would be hard-pressed to attempt, we lovers of the edible art witness even. That the underdogs create feats of incredible culinary imagination (including an astonishing salmon roe “Nigiri” you have to see to believe).

The school of chocolate is by no means perfect. The favorite contestants were pretty clear, and one episode literally split the group’s strongest and “weakest” players—remember, these are all skilled professionals—in two apparently unequal assignments. While maintaining many of the usual competitive elements and structure, more time is spent on character victories and rage than I’d like, with less time on the whizzbang confections I came up with.

While declaring a “student” winning is antithetical, each contestant has his or her own moment of achievement and growth. Travel feels deliciously satisfying, well earned. I chalk this up in large part to the decision to preserve more contestants in the overall mix, who are given the chance to return with increased creativity.

Ultimately, the decision is up to the audience. more Cake and chocolate overall, no less. Putting a group together for a competition show is a bold decision – and it works. The School of Chocolate dares to envision a treasured luxury material, not only a momentary treat but a deeply challenging medium for artistic expression, that engages the eyes and mind as well as the tongue. Technical, temperamental and, ultimately, short-lived.

I am ready to help.

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